Marianne Calnan
Jul 5, 2024

Coca-Cola focuses on hugs in Olympics ad

The global campaign was developed by WPP Open X, led by Ogilvy and supported by EssenceMediaCom, VML and Hogarth.

Coca-Cola focuses on hugs in Olympics ad

Cola-Cola is showcasing the “magic” that happens “when the world comes together” in a global campaign promoting its 96-year long relationship with the Olympics.

“It's magic when the world comes together” created by WPP Open X and led by Ogilvy, depicts competing swimmers hugging each other to celebrate the potential for cross-cultural connection during this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris. 

Olympic swimmers Tatjana Schoenmaker, Lilly King, Kaylene Corbett and Annie Lazor star in the 60-second film. It shows the swimmers competing in the women’s 200-metre breaststroke race, and moves on to scenes of people around the world watching the race while drinking Coca-Cola, including in bars, on basketball courts and while working in a kitchen.

The athletes begin hugging one another, before a spectator at the event and members of the public on a train, in a park, on a boat and on beaches follow suit. The entire audience watching the race then begins embracing one another, and the spot ends with two astronauts hugging as they float around in space.

The work is inspired by the coming together of competitors at past Olympic Games, including the 12 swimmers who hugged each other at the 4 x 100m relay at the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, and Olympic bronze medallist John Wing, who wrote to the International Olympic Committee to champion all athletes coming out together at the closing ceremony in 1956 in Melbourne.

The film will be supported by digital content capturing real-time hugs from Paris and broadcasting them on social channels.

Coca-Cola has created a new can design as part of the push, which is available only in France. It has an illustration of one side of a hug, so that when two cans are placed next to each other they create an image of an embrace. French artists Laura Normand, Aurelia Durand and Bruno Mangyoku created three designs for the cans, which will be showcased on social media as well.

People purchasing a pair of the cans also have the opportunity to win a range of prizes, unique merchandise and coupons.

The work is being supported by EssenceMediacom, VML and Hogarth.

Islam ElDessouky, global vice-president creative strategy and content at The Coca-Cola Company, said: “Our differences are what make us unique, but when we come together, that’s when the real magic happens. We wanted to embody that spirit across all touchpoints of our experience and make the Coca-Cola hug the symbol for Paris 2024, elevating our content in dynamic and engaging ways that resonate with fans visiting the city and beyond.”

This year’s Paralympic Games start on 28 August, while the Olympic Games begin on 26 July. 


Campaign UK

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